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Tongji Professor Turns Taxis into " Mobile PM2.5 Monitors"

Data of PM2.5 were obtained in real time from dozens of taxis running on the streets of Shanghai. This was because PM2.5 monitors were installed in the roof sign boxes of the taxis, part of the results of research on a three-dimensional Unmanned-aerial, Taxi-borne and Fixed-location air monitoring network led by Professor TAN Hongwei from Tongji University.

Why were the taxis installed with “air quality monitors”? “PM2.5 data generally come from environment quality monitoring stations set up by the government, which are fixed in certain locations and small in number”, said Professor TAN Hongwei, executive director of the Green Building and New Energy Research Center, Tongji University. In contrast, taxis running around the city all day long enabled the monitors to capture PM2.5 data in real time from the roads and lanes taxis passed by, covering almost every corner of the city.

Professor TAN who has long committed to research and practice of green buildings and new energy focused his attention to the impact of urban microclimate and haze on indoor air quality and the countermeasures in recent years. Based on his long-time observation and in-depth exploration, he proposed to build a three dimensional Unmanned-aerial, Taxi-borne and Fixed-location air monitoring network in 2015, which received immediate response and support from a research team of Shandong University headed by SI Shuchun, an associate professor who has done research on laser sensors for years.